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6.03 miles

Elevation Gain

1200 ft

Route Type



Added by John Clairmont

A moderate to strenuous, uncrowded hike with a gorgeous 360 degree view overlooking Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Beginning in Rocky Mountain National Park near the Deer Ridge Junction (where US 34 & US 36 meet), park your car in one of the 20 spots on either side of the road. Start at the trailhead booth and head north, keeping to the right-side trail at the first intersection about a tenth of a mile from the start (following South Deer Mountain Trail). You'll follow the very obvious trail, skirting across the mountain a bit before ascending a mass of switchbacks through the coniferous forest. After a bit over 2 miles the trail will level out and actually dip down through an aspen grove. Just before mile 3 there will be a sign indicating the direction (right) to the peak of Deer Mountain, and at this point you'll only have a quarter mile of hard stair climbing to go. Enjoy a rest and some snacks at the top, and remember to not feed the wildlife no matter how cute those little chipmunks look!

I highly recommend hiking this in the fall, particularly in late September or very early October. The aspen will all be changing colors and will make for some really incredible pictures! However, be aware of wildfires in the area and do your research ahead of time. If there are fires in the area this trail may be closed or the views may not be as great as they can be. That being said, all pictures I added to this adventure were taken when wildfires were raging nearby and I still think many of them came out well.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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